Photos by Jim Mimna
Furthur rolled into Colorado for a late summer run of shows at Red Rocks last week and sold the place out for the Saturday night show we covered. This was the latest in the year I have ever seen a show at the rocks, but the weather was perfect for face melting. Bob Weir and Phil Lesh have surrounded themselves with a young, energetic group of players who, with some sage guidance, have re-animated the Grateful Dead catalog beautifully. They seemed to channel the energy of the ’89 Dead in both vigor and accuracy. They even managed to surprise me by rearranging the classic deadhead hymnal, “Dark Star;” breathing life into it with a faster tempo and new attitude.
Having seen Weir and Lesh play the Grateful Dead’s catalog in so many arrangements over the years since Jerry died, I had become a jaded and disillusioned fan. I mean, how many times can you see Rob Barraco overplay “Here Comes Sunshine,” or Bobby flub the words on the songs he wrote, or a guitarmageddon unfold between Warren Haynes and Jimmy Herring on a song Jerry would have treated like the delicate “China Doll” it was, before you become skeptical? Well, Furthur won me over. Since Jerry has passed, this is the best group I have ever seen do what the Dead did so beautifully for all those years.
But, don’t take my word for it. Download the free audio recording of the show below, hit play, and peruse the photos below while you Listen Up Denver!
Set One: Here Comes the Sun, Cassidy, Scarlet Begonias > Good Lovin’, Peaceful Valley, Mountain Song > So Many Roads, Sugar Magnolia
Set Two: Playing in the Band > No More Do I > China Cat Sunflower > I Know You Rider, Dark Star > St. Stephen > Unbroken Chain, Dark Star > Fire on the Mountain
Encore: Morning Dew > Playing in the Band (reprise)